Introducing Stephanie Cote – NEFE’s 2023 Visiting Scholar

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We are proud to introduce Stephanie Cote as NEFE’s visiting scholar for 2023-24. Throughout her year with NEFE, Stephanie will deliver a seven-part series exploring Indigenous populations entitled “Financial Education for the Contiguous United States Native Nations.” She will interview Indigenous leaders to investigate historical contexts, present barriers and successes, and future visions for economic thriving in Native Nations.

Stephanie serves as senior programs officer for Financial Education & Asset Building at Oweesta Corporation, holding that role since January 2012. During her tenure, Stephanie has gained significant knowledge of the Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry working with organizations such as the First Nations Development Institute, Cielo Foundation, Native CDFI Network, Potlatch Fund, Longhouse Media and Northwest Native Development Fund.

Stephanie is a master trainer for Oweesta’s Building Native Communities suite of curriculum, a certified U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing counselor, a Credit As An Asset master trainer, a Freddie Mac CreditSmart curriculum instructor, NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling certified in homeownership counseling, and a certified professional coach through the Leadership That Works Coaching for Transformation program. In addition, she serves as a member on Clearinghouse CDFI’s Native American Advisory Board and the State of Colorado’s Office of Financial Empowerment Advisory Board.

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as NEFE’s next visiting scholar, sharing the history and current state of financial education in Native American communities. I am grateful for NEFE’s understanding the necessity of sharing this story and believe our work over the next year will provide a platform for discussion and ignite positive change.”
— Stephanie Cote

Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, majoring in comparative literature in French and English, with a minor in Native American Studies. She is Potawatomi and Odawa of Michigan from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

“It is fitting that we are making this announcement about Stephanie during our ‘quality’ week of Financial Capability Month. The need to improve the methods, understanding and outcomes of financial education within Indigenous populations is among the most important topics our field needs to address,”
— Joshua Caraballo, NEFE’s managing director of Research

Stephanie’s term as visiting scholar follows on the heels of an exciting year with Chloe B. McKenzie, NEFE’s 2022-23 visiting scholar, who wrote a series of pieces about nonparticipation and financial trauma. NEFE is excited for the upcoming year of scholarship with Stephanie Cote exploring financial education for contiguous United States Native Nations.

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